Rejection 34 – Get a Job in One Day

This is another one of my 10 audacious rejections. Looking for a job is tough. When I graduated from business school in 2009, I was right in the middle of the financial crisis that costed millions of jobs. Many people were struggling in the job market, and I was one of them. I wrote over 600 emails to network with people before I landed my job offers. Looking back, this was one of the toughest periods of my life.

I know many people can relate with my experience. Job search is difficult and feared because 1. we much rather be working, being productive and generating an income than writing resumes; 2. the uncertainty about today and tomorrow is suffocating; 3. it is a constant state of rejection. After you put your heart into a resume, a cover letter, and if you are lucky, an interview, the odds are you will still hear the dreaded 'no' and have to start over.

The reason I started my rejection therapy is to conquer fear. Since job search is one of the most feared phases in life, I decided to take it head on. This time, I brushed up my resume, listed five companies in Austin I wouldn't mind working for, and dropped in their offices cold looking for a job for one day only.

Why one day only, you asked? This is what I discovered from personal experience - working for free for a short period of time is a great door-opener for job searchers. Without the long-term risks, companies are more willing to try you out. Once you exceed their expectations, they will want to, and in some cases, beg you to stay. By then, you will have earned valuable experiences and turned the table in the job-searching negotiation.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" - Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7. I feel I can relate to Paul for writing this verse of the Bible.

Much credit goes to Jennifer, whose curiosity, professionalism and kindness kept the conversation alive and gave me hope to come back. You can tell BigCommerce is a good company with quality employees by a simple glimpse into its workforce.

I hope my experience has demonstrated that if you are persistent, honest and willing to lower the risks for the other party, you can increase your odds of finding a job, making a sale, or negotiating a purchase.

Also, it's an interesting fact that all three ladies offered to either take my resume or give me a phone number for followup discussion. This is already much further along the process than simply applying for jobs online. For the people who are currently looking for a job, don't lose hope.

Learnings:

1. No matter what you do, persistence is the key to your success.

2. Be cognizant to other people's risks and obstacles. Offer actions to lower and remove them. When looking for a job, offer to work without compensation for a week. When making a sale, offer customers to try it for free for 10-days. This is the "Generating Options" principle discussed in Roger Fisher and William L. Ury's excellent book on negotiation Getting to Yes.

3. When others can't say 'yes' to the entire request, ask them to say 'yes' to the things they have control over, and go from there. When you get one 'yes', you are much further along than getting no 'yes'.

4. Just when all seem lost, don't lose hope and fight the battle one more time. You never know if you don't go back in there.